It has been another couple of very busy days. I am very fortunate that things are going so well and things keep me so busy. Not everything about what I do though is 'blog-worthy' or what I feel would be of interest. After all – how many times do you want to see photos of blank ornaments that I cut? I am sure it loses its impact after a bit.
But my month of January has been pretty much spent at the scroll saw. (or packaging boxes, or answering emails!) While I have been able to slip some new designs in there, filling orders has taken most of my time. I am not complaining though, as I am so thrilled that things seem to be taking off in such a wonderful and positive direction. It is what I worked for these past several years. I thank every single one of you for your support – whether you have become a customer, or are just reading. Without you, I wouldn't be doing what I love. (I will never get tired of saying that!)
So this morning as I was going through my Facebook news feed, I came across a post by an artist friend of mine named Kim. Kim has been designing and teaching decorative painting as long as I can remember. I owned several of her patterns and books many years before I met her here on the internet. I even met her in person once, many years ago in Indianapolis, and we had dinner together with the people from the magazines that I used to work for. We sat right next to each other and I remember her talking about her daughter's upcoming wedding. Who would think that so many years later we would become such good friends. It is funny how paths cross that way. We never know when a chance meeting will turn into a real friendship many years later, in such different venues. But life is crazy like that. That is what makes it so exciting and so hopeful.
In any case, Kim's post today talked about her 'word of the year.' Kim always has wonderful and inspiring posts. They are down to Earth and helpful and I admire not only her talent, but I like her very much as a person as well. I have no doubt if we lived closer we would be wonderful friends, sharing our creativity and love of art.
It made me think though . . .
If I were to pick a 'word of the year', what would it be? I had thought about that around New Year, when people are thinking of things like resolutions and setting new goals and things of that nature. But I never really settled on one particular word that I felt was fitting for me to focus on.
For some reason, today it hit me. As I read Kim's post and thought about things in the fog of my morning coffee, I decided on a 'theme' for myself for the year. Perhaps some of you think it is silly to do things like this, but to me, it feels good to define some of our goals and remind ourselves of them every now and then. If picking a 'word' to focus on helps us with that, then so be it. Whatever help us grow and thrive is good for me.
So the word I picked was "encouragement".
I thought about all the wonderful and encouraging friends and family members that I have in my life, and I realize that the impact that they have on me is huge. In both the art groups and the woodworking groups, people show their creations every day so that they can be encouraged (and sometimes helped) by others who have the same interests and love of creating. I find that those who surround themselves with positive and encouraging people are the ones that seem to thrive the best, and are the happiest. I, myself have benefitted so greatly from the kind words, encouragement and also critiques from my friends that a goal of mine is to be that kind of person to others. I want to support them and encourage them to do things that they perhaps feel they may not be able to do. I would like to help them overshadow the self-doubts they have with excitement and teach them that sometimes taking chances reaps great rewards. As a teacher, there is nothing that is more rewarding than seeing those you are teaching accomplish. I think that it the best reward there can be.
So even though nothing has really changed in my life, it seems that some things have. It is amazing what a difference a positive and focused mindset can make, and on those days when things may not go so well, I can always turn my focus to encouraging others. The good things that doing that will bring are bound to make even the difficult days better. Positive thinking can always move mountains. (Really!)
With that in mind, I am going to be spending my day working on my project for Toletown again. I spent Monday experimenting and coming up with a clear, concise method to achieve the colors and look that I wanted for the backgrounds of my project. I now feel confident that I will be able to share it with others when teaching the design, and I will be making a video of how I did it to go along with the pattern. I think the results is really cool:
And for all of those who wonder where I find my inspiration, just take a look around you. It truly is EVERYWHERE:
This is (once again) the photo of Monday mornings' sunrise.
I think not.
Have a beautiful and inspirational Wednesday!
-- Designer/Artist/Teacher. Owner of Sheila Landry Designs (http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com) Scroll saw, wood working and painting patterns and surfaces. "Knowledge is Power"